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News & Press: Tax Center

Family Employees- Part I “Hiring Your Child”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
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Thinking about hiring your child this summer?

One of the advantages of operating your own business is hiring family members. However, the employment tax requirements for family employees may vary from those that apply to other employees. Below, we point out some issues to consider when hiring family members.

 

Child employed by parents

Payments for the services of a child under age 18 who works for his or her parent in a trade or business are not subject to social security and Medicare taxes if the trade or business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership in which each partner is a parent of the child. Refer to the "Covered services of a child" section below.  Payments for the services of a child under age 21 who works for his or her parent in a trade or business are not subject to Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. Payments for the services of a child are subject to income tax withholding, regardless of age.

 

Covered services of a child

The wages for the services of a child are subject to income tax withholding as well as social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes if he or she works for:

·      A corporation, even if it is controlled by the child's parent,

·      A partnership, even if the child's parent is a partner, unless each partner is a parent of the child, or

·      An estate, even if it is the estate of a deceased parent.

 

If payments are for work other than in a trade or business, such as domestic work in the parent's private home, they are not subject to social security and Medicare taxes until the child reaches age 21.

 

Tax Information for Students Who Take a Summer Job

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-13, May 19, 2014

Many students take a job in the summer after school lets out. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about the working world. That includes taxes we pay to support the place where we live, our state and our nation. Here are eight things that students who take a summer job should know about taxes:

1.    Don’t be surprised when your employer withholds taxes from your paychecks. That’s how you pay your taxes when you’re an employee. If you’re self-employed, you may have to pay estimated taxes directly to the IRS on certain dates during the year. This is how our pay-as-you-go tax system works.

2.    As a new employee, you’ll need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Your employer will use it to figure how much federal income tax to withhold from your pay. The IRS Withholding Calculator tool on IRS.gov can help you fill out the form.

3.    Keep in mind that all tip income is taxable. If you get tips, you must keep a daily log so you can report them. You must report $20 or more in cash tips in any one month to your employer. And you must report all of your yearly tips on your tax return.

4.    Money you earn doing work for others is taxable. Some work you do may count as self-employment. This can include jobs like baby-sitting and lawn mowing. Keep good records of expenses related to your work. You may be able to deduct (subtract) those costs from your income on your tax return. A deduction may help lower your taxes.

5.    If you’re in ROTC, your active duty pay, such as pay you get for summer camp, is taxable. A subsistence allowance you get while in advanced training isn’t taxable.

6.    You may not earn enough from your summer job to owe income tax. But your employer usually must withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from your pay. If you’re self-employed, you may have to pay them yourself. They count toward your coverage under the Social Security system.

7.    If you’re a newspaper carrier or distributor, special rules apply. If you meet certain conditions, you’re considered self-employed. If you don’t meet those conditions and are under age 18, you are usually exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.

8.    You may not earn enough money from your summer job to be required to file a tax return. Even if that’s true, you may still want to file. For example, if your employer withheld income tax from your pay, you’ll have to file a return to get your taxes refunded. You can prepare and e-file your tax return for free using IRS Free File. It’s available exclusively on IRS.gov.

Visit IRS.gov for more about the tax rules for students.

 

Parent employed by child

The wages for the services of a parent employed by his or her child in a trade or business are subject to income tax withholding and social security and Medicare taxes. Wages paid to a parent employed by his or her child are not

subject to FUTA tax, regardless of the type of services provided. For additional employment tax information, refer to Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, and Publication 51, Circular A, Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

 

If your parent works for you in your business, the wages you pay to him or her are subject to income tax withholding and social security and Medicare taxes. Social security and Medicare taxes do not apply to wages paid to your parent for services not performed in your business, but they do apply to domestic services if the following conditions are met.

·      The parent is employed by his or her son or daughter;

·      The son or daughter (the employer) has a child or stepchild living in the home;

·      The son or daughter (the employer) is a widow or widower, divorced, or living with a spouse who, because of a mental or physical condition, cannot care for the child or stepchild for at least 4 continuous weeks in a calendar quarter; and

·      The child or stepchild is either under age 18 or requires the personal care of an adult for at least 4 continuous weeks in a calendar quarter due to a mental or physical condition.

Payments made to a parent employed by his or her child are not subject to FUTA tax, regardless of the type of services provided.

 

Note: Look for next week’s edition on “ Hiring Your Spouse”

 

References/Resources:

•    Publication 15 (Circular), Employer’s Tax Guide

•    Self Employed Individual Tax Center

•    Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips

 

 

This series is brought to you by the Southwest Area Stakeholder Liaison Team covering Arizona, New Mexico & Texas. It is designed for you to share with anyone who will find the information useful. We are interested to hear if you think this information is helpful. Please provide your feedback or topic request to us at sl.southwest@irs.gov and include “Workshop Wednesday” in the subject line.

 

To access previous editions, click here:

Workshop Wednesday Archive links

 

Small business owners, especially new sole proprietors, can find a wealth of information covering their federal tax responsibilities on www.IRS.gov. The SB/SE Tax Center (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Small-Business-and-Self-Employed-Tax-Center-1)  is the “Go To” IRS.gov page for everything small business.


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